Republican J.D. Vance has won the Ohio U.S. Senate race against Democrat Tim Ryan, the Associated Press declared Tuesday.
“Whether you voted for me or not, the thing I promise to do is go to the United States Senate and fight every single day for the people of Ohio,” Vance said in his victory speech at the Ohio Republican Party’s election night event in Columbus.
Vance had 53.52% of the vote and Ryan had 46.48%, according to partial, unofficial results reported by the Ohio Secretary of State, with 98.12% of precincts reporting.
Vance of Cincinnati is a Middletown native, author of Hillbilly Elegy and co-founder of Narya, a venture capital firm in Cincinnati. Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Vance’s race for senate was his first bid for political office.
U.S. Rep. Ryan, D-Howland Twp., has been in the U.S. House of Representatives for 19 years, serving two years in the Ohio Senate before that. He ran in the Democratic Party presidential primary, withdrawing in October 2019.
He could not be reached for comment.
Political analysts said the race is one of the most consequential in the country as the two candidates sought a relatively rare open seat in an evenly divided Senate.
Vance will take the seat now held by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is retiring.
Vance worked to link Ryan to President Joe Biden saying Ryan had “rubber stamped Joe Biden’s leftist schemes.” Vance also said they had failed to protect the southern border and allowed drugs into the U.S. Vance called for tax cuts and regulatory reform.
Vance opposes gun reform, wants more energy drilling and pipelines and is against adding federal subsidies for child care and preschool. He says states should decide on the legality of abortion, but supports a national abortion ban starting at a minimum of 15 weeks, except to save the life of the mother.
On Monday former U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned for Vance and other candidates he endorsed at a rally held at Wright Brothers Aero at the Dayton Airport.
Ryan outraised Vance but Vance benefitted from more than $30 million in campaign advertising from the Senate Leadership Fund PAC connected with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.
Ryan campaigned on “workers first” issues, saying that more needed to be done to bring jobs back to the U.S. and improve education and workforce training. He wants a middle class tax cut to help ease the impact of inflation. He called Vance an “extremist” for promoting the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump.
Ryan denounced the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision and said he wants Roe v. Wade codified into law.
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